Craft brewers in the Triangle are experimenting with brews that are winning industry awards and praise from beer lovers. Learn about these unique brews in our feature Craft Brewing Explosion in Raleigh and Durham, then choose a way to taste them that suits you best.
1. Visit the brewery or breweries of your choice to sample specialties.
“Most of our area breweries do have a taproom,” says Lisa Parker, membership and operations coordinator for the NC Craft Brewers Guild. “At those breweries, one of the best ways to taste the variety of craft beers that a brewery provides would be to order a flight. Those are going to be several short pours that will provide you a sampling of some of the beer they offer.”
Otherwise, if you just wanted to try a taste of a beer or a couple beers, breweries are usually happy to accommodate that as well, she says. “There are so many craft breweries in the Triangle that are in close proximity to one another, you can really go from one to the other—assuming you’re not driving and you’re drinking responsibly—and sample the different specialties and the different atmospheres that each brewery offers,” she says. Some breweries also offer personal tours, so call ahead to find out if it's possible.
2. Enjoy a live sports experience while you sip a fresh, local brew at The Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
This is the only minor league ballpark in the U.S. with its own brewery. Launched in 2015, Bull Durham Beer Co. offers Lollygagger Kolsch, a blond ale, and the amber Water Tower Wheat for visitors who believe that beer and baseball are a winning combination.
3. Take your pick of nearly 150 taps of North Carolina beer at the Raleigh Beer Garden.
Owner Naill Hanley says the beer garden has the largest draft beer selection in the world, with Guinness World Records for the largest number of taps and the largest number of different breweries. The Raleigh Beer Garden also features a menu of handcrafted pizzas, sandwiches, crostinis, salads and appetizers.
4. Head out for tours of Raleigh breweries and sampling via a tour group.
5. Hop aboard the Raleigh Trolley Pub, a bicycling bar that visits local pubs.
As you pedal your way around the city, you can exercise while sightseeing and perhaps make a friend or two.
6. Sample brews during beer festivals.
Check out this listing on North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild website to find events when you’re in town. Upcoming festivals include: